Antoni Gaudi’s Barcelona In Pictures 2003

I’ve noticed recently a surprising number of search traffic coming through my blog looking for “Gaudi”. Gaudi, if you didn’t already know is the surname of Antoni Gaudi, a Spanish architect who is responsible from some of the most memorable structures in the world. Many of them located in Barcelona, Spain.

But why on earth am I getting search traffic for Gaudi, you ask? Don’t you pretty much just write cigar reviews? If either of those thoughts came to mind, you have a beautiful, sexy mind. And you’re playing right into my hands. You’re right, I have been spending a lot of time on cigars lately. But I do have other hobbies. Two of them are travel and photography. Back in 2003 I combined all three hobbies and visited Barcelona. You probably didn’t realize it, but if you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you’ve already seen some Gaudi already:

Antoni Gaudi Sun or Star Mosaic

Look familiar? That’s a Sun (or maybe star) mosaic decoration Gaudi designed into the ceiling of one structure at Park Güell in Barcelona. It also happens to be one of my favorite bits of his work I came across while I was there.

This got me thinking. I have a whole bunch of pictures from that trip, why not give those in search of pictures of Antoni Gaudi’s handy work what they want? After a good deal of searching (and a little terror when I thought they were lost), I found ‘em, cropped ‘em and polished ‘em up to make them blog worthy. Though these pictures were taken with my first digital, 2.1 megapixel camera, they’re still some of my favorites. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them as well!

Antoni Gaudi\'s Casa Batllo

Casa Batlló, one of a number of intriguing building on the Illa de la Discòrdia block in the Eixample district of Barcelona. This was probably my favorite Gaudi building.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Casa Batllo

A closer look at the alien balconies on the Casa Batlló.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Casa Battlo

The oozing lower windows of the Casa Batlló.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Casa Mila

Not too far away is the similarly wavy Casa Milà.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Casa Mila

The Casa Milà from the sidewalk below. Check out that crazy iron work fencing in what looks like a deck.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Casa Mila

The Casa Milà isn’t just wavy on the outside, the walls, windows, doors and even the stairways on the inside of the building are resistant to straight lines. We couldn’t go in much further than this, as the building is currently in use.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens couldn’t be more different that the previous two buildings. Not only is it block and full of straight lines, it doesn’t have an interesting accent mark in the name. (Which makes it a lot easier to type.) Looking at this building still makes me want to play checkers or build legos. Or both. Probably while drinking.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Casa Vicens

A view of the side of the Casa Vicens.

Antoni Gaudi Palau Guell

Palau Güell had a strick policy about photography inside the building, but the rooftop was up for grabs. These are a few of the numerous mosaic chimneys decorating the roof. (I think there are something like seven.) Due to the rather narrow side street it opens up to, a shot of the side of the building was all but inpossible, at least with that old camera.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Park Guell Bench

The famous winding bench at Park Güell. This single bench encircles a large open mezzanine-like area overlooking the entrance to the park.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Park Guell Lizard Fountain

A close up of the mosaic lizard fountain on the steps at Park Güell.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Park Guell

One of the little buildings in Park Güell. This building was under construction at the time, but I think it is used for management of the park. Or a tourist gift shop. One or the other.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Park Guell Sign

The sign on the outer wall of Park Güell.

Antoni Guadi\'s Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is a massive, unfinished cathedral that Gaudi may be best know for. Even though he didn’t finish it in his lifetime, the construction continued. In fact, it’s still under construction today! (Or at least as recently as 2003.)

Antoni Gaudi\'s Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is designed to be enjoyed. From every angle. It’s just incredible how much thought went into this structure.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Sagrada Familia

Another shot of the spires of Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, with the city of Barcelona below.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Sagrada Familia

As I mentioned before, the structure is still under construction. In spite of the cranes, this shot gives you a better idea of what the building looks like as a whole.

Antoni Gaudi\'s Sagrada Familia

Before you get sick of looking at the Sagrada Familia, you gotta check out the facade above one of the door. Each of the main entrances have a different, but equally elaborate scene above them.

Joan Miro\'s Woman and Bird

OK, you got me. This isn’t an Antoni Gaudi creation. This sculpture, named “Woman and Bird” was created by Joan Miro, another (a bit less) famous Spanish artist, who I suspect was at least a bit inspired by Antoni Gaudi. This is also located in Barcelona.

Want to see more? Check our my Antoni Gaudi photography galleries.

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Jameson Torpedo Cigar Review

Jameson TorpedoLooking around the cigar blogs just now, it seems that I’m the very last person on earth to put up a review of a Jameson cigar. While I will admit to being a little lazy, it’s not my slacking off that’s got me so behind the curve. At least this time. As with the incredibly hyped Nub cigars (of which I’ve still only had one, and only because Walt was being generous), I seem to be the very last person to get one of these cigars! That’s ok, I’ll try not to let my sadness and bitterness taint this review.

I’m kidding! Seriously, I really do appreciate it when manufacturers and retailers value my opinion enough to share their cigars with me for a review. And the cigars for this review came to be completely out of the blue. I had just reconfigured my HerfSpace account after thes site’s big software update when a friend request came in from Jameson Cigars. I knew they were a generous sponsor of the Stogie Review and any friend of the Stogie Review is a friend of mine. So I of course accepted the request.

In very short order Brad of Jameson Cigars sent me a message offering me the chance to try out a couple of Jameson cigars, the vitola of my choosing! Harkening back to my experiences with the Camacho Corojo Maduro, I recalled enjoying the torpedo more than the toro. So went for the torpedo. (My second choice was the petite corona, which he also sent!) Thanks for the cigars Brad! Now let’s smoke ‘em!

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 1/2 x 54
Wrapper: Sumatra
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 2 1/2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: $25.50 a five pack

Jameson Cigars

The Pre-Smoke
As you probably already know, I often like to comment on the cigar band. Though you don’t actually smoke the band (man, I hope you don’t!), it is a part of the smoking experience. Especially if you leave the band on like I do when you smoke your cigars. I’m not entirely sure why, but something about this band says Trader Joes to me. I think it’s because the leaf pattern reminds me a little of the Hawaiian shirts the employees wear. It says to me, clean, a bit unusual and relaxed.

Beyond the band, on thing that makes these cigars look a little unusual to me is the sharp point at the head. Most torpedo cigars I’ve come across are a bit more rounded at the end. The Jameson torpedoes are sharp enough that they could almost be used in self defense when not being smoked. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that bringing the cap to a point like that is a little harder to accomplish than the normal rounded end.

Both torpedoes I smoked had a mottled brown wrapper on them with a few prominent veins. Giving each a squeeze I found them to be very well packed with tobacco and very firm. The scent of the wrapper was your standard barnyard/compost and at the foot I got more of a dusty hay scent.

As with all torpedoes I smoke, I clipped these cigars on about a 45 degree angle. A cut which is commonly referred to as a “dickman” cut. (Someday, I’m going to find out why it’s called that. Someday.) The cold taste was kind of a sweet prune or fig flavor.

The Burn
I have absolutely no complaints about this cigar’s burn. The ash was mostly solid and white, and held on easily to achieve lengths of at least an inch and a half. The second cigar I smoked only ashed once! As you will see in the tower of burn, I put it to rest with about a two inch ash still very firmly attached.

Likewise the draw was great.

The Flavor
These cigars had a rather unusual flavor profile. If asked to compare them to another cigar, I’d be a bit at a loss to do so. They started out with an interesting combination of sweetness, creaminess, leather, wood and spice that seemed to play musical chairs on my tongue. Each puff seemed to be a little different, and my notes for the first third were rather long. But what really stuck out to me is that about half way into the first third, the flavor seemed to go flat, great suddenly sweet and then it jumped into a kind of rough, dry salad flavor.

In the second third the cigar seemed to settle down a bit, opting for a savory leather with some occasional earthiness here and there. In the first cigar I smoked, I got an unpleasant burnt flavor a couple of times in this third.

The final third saw a re-emergence of sweetness, with cedar and almost a cinnamon raisin flavor at the beginning. But it wasn’t long before the cigar went back to its savory leather ways. I should also mention that the first cigar I smoked had a sort of unpleasant funkiness that appeared in this third. It didn’t overpower the other flavors, but it was there almost the entire third.

The Price
You’re looking at $4.60 to $5.10 per stick with these, depending on whether you buy them by the five pack or the box. It’s hard to find any fault that price tag for this size of smoke.

The Verdict
I think there was a problem with the first cigar I smoked. The burnt flavor of the second third and the funkiness in the final third were enough to make me a bit hesitant to try the second. But I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed the second cigar, especially after I got past the slightly hyper first third. It just really hit the spot that evening which was a bit of a surprise after the first completely missed the mark! And that is why it’s important to smoke a cigar more than once, especially for a review. I have the petite coronas still left to try and I have high hopes for them.

I’d recommend giving these a shot, but I’d advise going for the five pack first. (I love that they sell them by the fiver.) As I mentioned before, the flavor is pretty unique, and after five, you’ll know whether they’re a box buy or a pass.

Thanks again Brad for the smokes!

Liked It: Yes and no, the second was pretty enjoyable, the first, not so much.
Buy It Again: I think I will, we’ll see how the petite coronas fare.
Recommend It: I think it’s worth a try. It’s unique!

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.

Jameson Torpedo

Jameson Torpedo

Jameson Torpedo

Jameson Torpedo

Jameson Torpedo

Jameson Torpedo

Jameson Torpedo

Jameson Torpedo

Jameson Torpedo

Jameson Torpedo

Jameson Torpedo

What Other People Are Saying

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